K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Learn more about Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The law and disabilities
A brief overview of two major laws — the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 — that protect students with disabilities in schools.
By Margaret P. Weiss.
Can Americans define the term "learning disability?"
This article examines the statistics surrounding what Americans know — and don't know — about learning disabilities. The results highlight the necessity of educating parents and teachers more comprehensively about learning disabilities and what causes them.
Format: article
By Jennifer Job.
Gender in special education
Do boys have more incidences of disability than girls? The numbers suggest that they do, but the matter is complicated. This article addresses some of the issues behind the statistics.
Format: article
By Kris Zorigian and Jennifer Job.
Inclusion strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders
In Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice, page 6
This article discusses the characteristics of a variety of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and shares concrete strategies for increasing motivation, communication, and academic success in students with ASD.
Format: article/best practice
By Susan Flynn.
Respecting differences
This guidance and drama unit offers students the opportunity to identify prejudices and understand how certain character traits such as tolerance, respect, and kindness affect their choice of behavior. Since this lesson addresses sensitive issues, teachers should avoid situations that could be hurtful to individuals or groups. This unit can be adapted to almost any age group or ability level.
Format: lesson plan (grade 6–8 English Language Development, Guidance, Healthful Living, and Theater Arts Education)
By Daryl Walker and Judy Peele.

Find all 9 resources in our collection.

1975 federal law (amended in 1997) under which schools must guarantee that all children with disabilities receive “free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.” The statute requires that children with disabilities be educated with children who are not disabled, and that removal from the regular classroom may occur only when the nature or severity of the disability interferes with the successful delivery of aid and services.

Examples and resources

The Law and Disabilities” by Margaret P. Weiss explains IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehibilitation Act and how teachers and schools can comply with them.